I’m definitely not alone when I say we are constantly thinking about ways we can reduce our plastic use. I think a lot of us are – these days most people in Australia know that single-use plastics are terrible for the environment. We are far from living a plastic-free lifestyle, but we try to reduce the amount of plastic coming into our home, and to make sure the plastic we do use is put into recycling. It’s not the best solution to a big, global problem – but I think even small things can make a difference.
A little while ago I thought a bit about some of the posts I really want to start sharing on House Nerd, and I really want to start sharing more small (and big) businesses that are trying to make an impact in a green or sustainable way.
Resparkle is an Australian cleaning products business that was started by founder Pearl Chan, and they caught my attention not just with their pretty bottles but with what they’re trying to do. These days we all know plastics are bad for our planet – but eight years ago, when Pearl first started her business idea, most people weren’t as informed about just how harmful plastics are – or even about chemicals found in traditional cleaning products.
Pearl realised she got headaches from using chemical-based cleaners, and decided to make sustainable and natural cleaning products. She also wanted to make products that could be re-used, and that reduced our plastic consumption.
Pearl says she was filled with nerves at her first-ever market stall eight years ago, selling organic cleaning concentrates in refillable pods. “At that time, the problem with plastic waste wasn’t on everyone’s agenda and sustainability wasn’t a buzzword, so I knew it would be a process of educating everyone,” she says. “I remember texting my husband who was away for work saying, “What if everyone thinks selling concentrates in a refill pod is a dumb idea? What if no one wants to buy my invention?” Of course, being the kind of husband he is, he assured me everyone would think it was brilliant.”
It wasn’t long before her products sold out, and her business grew.
Pearl says the business had gotten to a point where they realised they were proud to have saved more than 500,000 plastic bottles from landfill, but they were still producing plastic and plastic waste – the refillable pods weren’t the perfect solution.
“Fast-forward to now and I feel as though our brand has finally arrived,” she says. “We’ve matured. We’re in a unique moment in history with the introduction of our new line of powder-based home care packed in 100% plastic-free refill sachets.”
Because the compostable sachets are made from natural ingredients including corn, potato, tapioca starches, belluslose, soy protein and lactic acid, they can be composted.
Pearl realised that most cleaning products were typically made up of only 10-15 percent active ingredients – and 85-90 percent water. She decided to sell waterless cleaning products by producing highly concentrated, natural powdered cleaners in compostable sachets that could be emptied into glass bottles and filled with warm water, to dissolve the cleaning product.
Resparkle was launched formally in 2015, when Pearl redesigned traditional spray bottles to use less plastic (the nozzles are plastic) with the goal being refillable, reusable bottles that would be used for years and years.
“We’re the first to admit there’s no silver bullet to sustainability,” she says.
“Compostable packaging is not the perfect solution to our plastic problem, but we think it’s definitely a better alternative. Our sachets have been tested and the great news is, they fully disintegrate in home compost conditions within 26 weeks. The most sustainable option for you at home is to put your used Resparkle sachet into your food scraps and garden waste.”
Now Pearl’s signature product is possibly her All-Purpose Cleaner, a 100% natural ingredient product that can be used on timber, marble, granite and even on grimy shower screens. After using it, I can say that it is great – and smells really good! Her handwash (above in the grey bottle) is another lovely product, and the range also encompasses a floor cleaner, dishwash starter,
When Pearl isn’t working on the business, she loves chilling with her little boy, cooking with her family and doing yoga – and like most of us, she loves the calm, relaxed feeling you get when your house is clean and tidied.
Today Pearl is sharing with us three cleaning tips to get on top of your home this winter – and she’s also giving three house nerds a chance to Resparkle their own home – check out my giveaway at the end for a chance to win one of three $70 Resparkle gift vouchers to spend on products of your choice.
Make your home worthy of long Netflix binges under the doona with a thorough, deep clean this winter. “If you’re relying on your eyes to decide if your home is clean, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get busy,” says Pearl. “Dirt, harmful bacteria and deeply embedded dust is not only yuck, a home full of it won’t help you come out of flu season unscathed.”
Defend against germs.
“Winter is the perfect time to prepare for the onslaught of bugs,” says Pearl. “The best way to protect yourself (and your family) is by ensuring your home is germ-free. Sure, most of us are handwashing aficionados (thanks COVID-19!) but this needs to carry through to your home. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation when it comes to home hygiene. Don’t worry though, we’ve got you covered!”
Start by removing all dirt and grime. “Look in hard-to-reach places like behind furniture, in cupboards and especially the bathroom and kitchen,” says Pearl. “Once you’re happy with your spot-free abode, it’s time to disinfect. Here’s where the process generally falls over. Once you’ve applied your disinfectant, you should wait 30 seconds to a couple of minutes for the product to kill the germs. Always check the label to be sure.”
Also? “Wiping in circles, left to right, up to down or even in a star shape won’t affect the disinfectant – this is a myth,” says Pearl. “Providing you’ve waited the right amount of time, it really doesn’t matter how to spread the product.” Keeping disinfectant for long enough on those benchtops and surfaces can help slow the spread of winter bugs.
Have a system.
This is hands-down my own problem with cleaning – when it comes to doing a full-house clean, I still feel like I don’t know where to start and how to do the most efficient job (you can read about how I’ve struggled with keeping on top of our house cleaning back here!)
The secret to cutting your cleaning routine in half starts with a system, says Pearl. “We’ve developed a cleaning checklist worthy of Marie Kondo airtime. There’s no need to second guess what you should be focusing on with our weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly smart cleaning system. You can download it here for free.”
As the temperature drops, you’ll be reaching for warmer bed linen, cosier clothing and couch blankets. Pearl says now is the time to rotate your soft furnishings in preparation for frosty mornings and cold evenings.
“Wash all warmer blankets and bed linen if they’ve been sitting at the back of the cupboard for a while – they’ll likely be dusty and in need of a clean,” she says. “Don’t forget to always choose natural laundry detergents as you don’t want to be absorbing and breathing in nasty chemicals in your sleep.” Store your summer pieces in an airtight container after laundering them.
Pro tip: Add a cloth with a couple of drops of your favourite essential oil to your stored pieces to help keep them fresh for the next season.
WIN! ONE OF THREE $70 RESPARKLE VOUCHERS
Resparkle are giving three lucky House Nerds a voucher to add some delicious-smelling, all-natural cleaning products to their own home. To enter, check out my latest post on Instagram. Don’t have Insta? You can enter below by leaving your name and a comment below with your own cleaning tip.
Winners will be contacted by direct message or email.
Competition closes 5pm Tuesday June 15th. Winners drawn by Random Name Picker. Competition not endorsed or sponsored by Instagram.